More than 1,300 migrants rescued at sea, Italy Coastguard says

Some 1,348 migrants were picked up Saturday from the stretch of sea between Sicily and North Africa, the Italian Coastguard said in a statement. 

There were 11 separate rescue operations involving the Italian Coastguard, the European Union naval mission Eunavfor Med, the Malta-based NGO Moas and a private tug boat, the statement said. 

In recent weeks, following the closure of the so-called Balkan route via Turkey and Greece, Italy has become the main entry point for Europe-bound sea migrants. 

According to the International Organization for Migration (IOM), 48,761 people landed on Italian shores in the year to date. The average number of daily arrivals has surged from 176 in January to 643 in May.

Greece has had 158,757 sea migration arrivals over the same period, but the flow has ebbed, the IOM says, calculating that average daily landings have fallen from 2,056 in January to 47 in the last month.

Last update: Sat, 11/06/2016 - 21:09

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